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Gold has potential to plummet to $700: Strategist

Gold got little respite from all the bad news surrounding it Thursday, with the price of the precious metal crunching to near a five-and-a-half-year low and two separate analysts telling CNBC that there was little reason to add it to an investment portfolio.

Shaun Port, the chief investment officer at the online investment management company Nutmeg, highlighted that central banks were no longer thirsty for bullion and predicted a hefty fall in price.

"I think there's much further downside for gold from here, potentially through the $1,000 (level) and back to the pre-crisis levels of the sort of $700 or $800 (level)," he told CNBC Thursday.

Ramin Nakisa, a global asset allocation strategist at UBS, had similar feelings, telling CNBC Thursday that gold would be hit by rising global interest rates and no longer had any safe-haven appeal.

"It's a wasting asset...typically when you saw a little crisis like Greece you would see gold rally. That doesn't happen anymore," he said.

"We're fairly bearish."

Bullion lurched lower by around 1 percent in morning trade on Thursday after a statement by the U.S. Federal Reserve the previous day which added to the consensus interest rate hike was soon coming. Gold - seen as a hedge against inflation - has risen strongly during recent years when the Fed was more accommodative and provided extra liquidity to the U.S. economy.

The commodity was trading at $1,085 per ounce at 11 a.m. London time on Thursday and has sunk 8 percent year-to-date. It still remains over 40 percent lower from a peak seen in September 2011.

There might be more than enough pessimism on the previous metal within the investment community, but there are still some bulls.


Gold a 'must-have'?

For example, Societe Generale's Albert Edwards is notoriously bearish on stocks and the global economy, but speaks of his love for bullion in a new client note on Thursday morning.

"Rock bottom interest rates and large fiscal deficits will mean only one thing; QE (quantitative easing) will be stepped up to such a pace that you will hear the roar of the printing presses from Mars," he said.

"Gold is a must-have holding in that world," he added.

Another view backing a rebound in gold comes in the form a new note from Nakisa's colleagues at UBS on Wednesday. The bank's research shows that there are indications of physical demand for gold starting to creep in and help support the market.

gold bars.jpg
AP

"Volumes are not necessarily exceptional, but the fact that it's around should offer some reassurance to gold longs and perhaps encourage shorts to lock-in some of their profits," Edel Tully and Joni Teves, two global analysts at the bank, said in the note.

There's also more positive news from ETF Securities, a fund management firm focused on exchange-traded funds. Martin Arnold, a global FX and commodity strategist at the company, highlights that seasonal demand for gold is historically robust in the third quarter.

"If physical gold demand again is strong in (the third-quarter), it could provide some near-term respite from the gold price weakness seen thus far in 2015," he said in a client note Thursday.

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